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Family Cohesion as a Buffer Against the Effects of Problem-Drinking Fathers on Psychological Distress, Deviant Behavior, and Heavy Drinking in Adolescents

Michael P. Farrell, Grace M. Barnes and Sarbani Banerjee
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 36, No. 4 (Dec., 1995), pp. 377-385
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2137326
Page Count: 9
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Family Cohesion as a Buffer Against the Effects of Problem-Drinking Fathers on Psychological Distress, Deviant Behavior, and Heavy Drinking in Adolescents
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Abstract

In this paper we examine the degree to which family cohesion buffers the effects of fathers' problem drinking at Time 1 (T1) on adolescent distress, deviance, and heavy drinking at Time 2 (T2), one year later. Data from a representative sample of 658 families were used to test the hypotheses. Mothers, fathers (if present), and adolescent children were interviewed in the home. Fathers who were present completed self-report scales measuring problem drinking. When fathers were not available, mothers' reports on fathers' drinking were used to measure fathers' problem drinking. Results from regression analysis indicate that after controlling for the effects of race, SES, age, gender, and family structure: (1) the more cohesion in the family and the fewer stressful events, the less distress, deviance, and heavy drinking shown by adolescents; (2) the father's problem drinking affects adolescent distress and deviance when cohesion is low; but as cohesion increases, the effects of the father's drinking are reduced. The findings support the hypothesis that cohesion in families buffers the effects of fathers' problem drinking on adolescents.

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